Waiving Our Rights: The Personal Data Collection Complex and Its Threat to Privacy and Civil Liberties

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Lexington Books, Mar 22, 2012 - Political Science - 306 pages
The United States is not a police state, but Congress is subject to special interests lobbying in pursuit of abusive commercial practices that leave a lot to be desired for transparency and accountability. It is illegal to data-mine personal files held by government agencies, schools and universities, or medical facilities. It is illegal to collect and publish defamatory gossip and hearsay about private citizens. But it is legal to oblige Americans to “waive” their rights to privacy and their right to sue for invasion of privacy for defamation by anonymous third-parties in order to receive essential services or apply for employment.

Americans are obliged to “waive” their rights in essentially all applications for employment, credit, housing, public utilities, telephone or mobile phone service, internet access, and even cable TV connection. The law requires “notice and consent” whenever such waivers are included in employment applications, but consumer reporting agencies have learned to use deceptive methods to avoid drawing the attention of applicants to the meaning and consequence of such language. Recent law dispenses with “notice and consent” for private-eye quasi-criminal investigations of “suspected misconduct” by an employee altogether. In effect, this bypasses "probable cause," "innocent until proven guilty," the "right to know the nature of an accusation," the "right to confront witnesses," the "rule against double jeopardy," and the "right to sue for defamation, and/or interference with employment." Orlan Lee questions the validity of any such "waivers," and seeks to alert Americans to the need to protect their fundamental rights.

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Chapter 1 What Ever Became of the Fourth Fifth and Sixth Amendments?
Chapter 2 From Collecting and Transmitting Credit Information To Assessing Attitude Motivation and Behavior
Chapter 3 Arbitrary and Capricious Standards Will Be Used Arbitrarily and Capriciously
Chapter 4 Validity of Voluntary Waiver of Basic Rights in Employment and Financial Transactions
Chapter 5 Making a Mockery of Liberty of Contract
Chapter 6 Can Congress Authorize a Secret Proprietary Masterfile on Every American?
Afterword The New Frontier of Civil Liberties Mandatory Voluntary Waivers of Civil and Constitutional Rights
Appendix A A Liberal American University Goes Over to Lifetime Surveillance
Appendix B InfoLinks List of FederalStateCourtCredit Bureau Files Searches with Their Descriptions
Appendix C Consent to Ongoing Surveillance by Mobile Phone Operators Public Utilities Companies TV Cable Companies Internet Service Providers
The Author
Index of Names
Index of Cases
Index of Statutes

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About the author (2012)

Orlan Lee is professor in the School of Management of the New York Institute of Technology, and life member of Clare Hall in the University of Cambridge.

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